Friday, February 27, 2015

Sunny Skies at Tokyo Disneyland- Part 2

Where were we?!

Ah yes! We had just left the Monsters Inc. attraction (Ride and Go Seek) and started to formulate a plan for the mid-afternoon. We could hear that the Happy Harvest Parade had started to makes its way toward our area, the Central Plaza. We did toy with the idea of whether we would watch, but realized there wasn’t enough room for us. The crowd had already been waiting for quite some time. 

Eric and I popped into the bakery across from the Monsters Inc. Fast Pass machines. Well, there were many fun sights to behold in there. I gave a sneak peek at them during my last post. The Mike Wazowski melon bread looked so adorable! Have I mentioned how cute the food is here? The queue was quite long so we pressed on through the Central Plaza, toward the Western area of the park. We wanted to see what snack we could find in the ole West!

It was a surprise that the parade viewing area along Adventureland was quite empty. Eric and I could grab a spot right against a flower bed and no one would be directly in front of us. We agreed to take advantage of the luck and enjoy the parade.

I don’t know how he does it! As soon as the parade began rolling in, Eric memorized the lyrics! Then again, he does that with almost everything on that old invention, the radio. Why would this be any different? The music is extremely catchy that had most people bobbing their heads to the beat. With lyrics that say “Goblins and ghouls all act a fool!” you can’t help but love it.

We caught an abridged version of this same parade two days prior, but it was the “Rainy Day” parade. There were no dancers and the characters were covered in rain gear.  On this gorgeous day we received the full treatment! By looking at the photos I don’t have to describe how inventive the costumes are.

There were only a few floats, but once they were situated around the Plaza they stopped for a show. The audience had apparently been shown minimal choreography to join in with the performers. Since Eric and I were late to the game, we missed that part. The guests near the parade route were very enthused as their arms waved around in unison! Eric and I were a little further back, but we had a nice view of the goings on. We knew to expect this eagerness to participate from the crowd and it says a lot about how the culture enjoys having fun!

Once the parade moved past and the crowd began to disperse, we decided we needed more than a snack. I think we had metabolized our morning toast a long time ago. Following the parade path, in the opposite direction, we went in search of some food.

Eric remembered the Good Time Café, found in Toontown, because they offer a cute looking sandwich. It is chicken on the inside, but the bread surrounding it is shaped like a Mickey Mouse glove. We had to make our way across Fantasyland to get to Toontown, but not without a few photos.

 As we had expected, we caught the crowd leaving the parade route from the same parade. The route starts on one end of Fantasyland (near Haunted Mansion) and loops back to Fantasyland’s other end (near Toontown/Tomorrowland).

          See the Cast Member in the crowd?

This was another moment where Eric and I locked in on our destination and split up. We zig zagged our way through that crowd and found ourselves in Toontown. There were quite a few places to sit, which was surprising with this crowd. Eric went to order and I saved us an area on a bench. I’m thankful Eric suggested I wait. While I sat holding our spot, the crowd slowly started to swell around me. 

I’m happy we grabbed photos of the food right away because even though it was adorable, we devoured it! We didn’t hang in that area for too long because we could tell people were eyeing our seats. The both of us would be sitting soon to wait for the Happiness is Here parade. We could rest then.

Eric used to work in original Toontown, so this “flipped” version was fun to explore. Besides the difference in the layout, the park has this area decorated for Halloween. Our Toontown in Anaheim only gets spruced up for Christmas. 

Looks like Eric made a friend! Although he wore the male version, this is the same costume that was once worn in CA’s Toontown.

For the Disneyland veterans in CA, check out Space Mountain behind Gadget’s Go Coaster! Don’t forget, people call this place “Bizarro Disneyland”.

I don’t think our Chip n Dale Treehouse has leaves anymore! (sad face) Too bad we didn’t go inside this one.

It was big decision time folks! Where would we watch the parade this time? While in Toontown, we were at the end of the route. So far it wasn’t filling in with guests. I didn’t want to sit at a blind turn. I wanted a clear view as the parade approached. So, we headed back across Fantasyland to the parade step off.

As we made our way to our viewing area, Eric realized it was now okay for us to get a new Fast Pass. Just across from our chosen spot was the Haunted Mansion: Holiday Nightmare. We couldn’t pass that opportunity so that’s the one we chose. If you recall from the past post, we had a Fast Pass for Pooh’s Hunny Hunt at 18:00. This new time for Mansion would work out perfectly! Now it was the hour long waiting game.

Our spot was great. Directly behind Eric and I was the railing for the Dumbo attraction. There wasn’t a way for people to burst in during the show. I always like getting a spot that can be blocked off from walkways. This was it! Nothing is worse while watching a show/parade then having people push themselves into the spot (or through your legs) you have held for an hour or more.

Being Cast Members from CA, Eric and I were interested to see how they ran their crowd control. We almost felt a little jealous as it seemed these guests were more inclined to follow directions. One word of “back talk” heard often by a Disneyland Cast Member is “Why?” Here in Tokyo, the guests were very willing to follow the directions given. (Look at me just rambling on when there is a parade to get to)

I can’t believe I am saying this on the internet, but I may have had a few tears in my eyes (they burn). Tokyo Disneyland really knows how to put on a parade! The floats were huge and so lively! And again, Eric suddenly knew the lyrics! (This time I must confess that we had heard the music before.)

I don’t really know what to say about the parade because it really does speak for itself. If you choose to see it in motion and with the music, you really should check it out on YouTube. I have a short video up on there, but the full ones are there as well.

I really am annoyed with myself that I can’t think of what to say about the parade. It must be experienced in person. To sum up the whole parade: It is full of Disney moments that come alive before your eyes with floats that put most parades to shame! I was glad there wasn’t a show stop. A parade should keep moving along. As great as a performance is, it gets to be tiresome sitting on the ground for long or standing in one spot.

The show ended around 1:45 PM and we had the afternoon ahead of us. Eric and I felt like we were making so much progress during our time in the parks. I think since we had done so much research, we had the upper hand. We even decided to fit in some time to visit the shopping area called Ikspiari (ick-spee-ar-ee). That shopping district acts like the Downtown Disney for both parks. It is a bit of walk to get there and located near the train station. 

We first took a trip on The Mark Twain before we made our way toward the main gate. In the next installment of our Sunny Day at Tokyo Disneyland, we find out if Ikspiari is the place to be or the place to avoid. Also, we have a nice evening at the park that builds up to the Electrical Parade: Dreamlights. “See you real soon!”


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